Pair sign creative pact

LONDON — U.K. commercial web ITV has struck a creative pact with BreakThru Films, the shingle behind this year’s Oscar-winning animated short “Peter and the Wolf.”

Under the deal, ITV Productions and BreakThru will jointly develop and co-produce projects, with ITV Worldwide handling international distribution of some productions.

“The beauty of this new relationship is that it enables us to retain autonomy, whilst at the same time benefiting from a creative collaboration with the one of the U.K.’s biggest and most successful producers of original content,” said BreakThru founder and managing director Hugh Welchman.

London-based BreakThru is working on a number of animation and live-action projects, including “Sh!,” a low-budget horror pic; “Chopin,” a stop-frame animated pic, which will come out to mark the Polish composer’s bicentennial in 2010; and a film based on the Daily Telegraph’s Alex cartoon strip, starring Robert Bathurst (“Cold Feet”).

The company also recently produced the visual effects for Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en rose.”

The collaboration marks the latest step in ITV’s strategy of partnering and investing in production companies, as it looks to boost its content revenues.

“This deal perfectly demonstrates our strategy of backing young, highly creative talent and giving them the experience and resources of ITV Global Content,” said managing director Lee Bartlett.

Unlike recent deals with the U.K.’s Mammoth Screen and 12 Yard, ITV has not taken an equity stake in BreakThru. However, it will provide some financial resources, as well as back office and management support.

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